Mozart's Thematic Catalogue - ff. 7v-8r
Copyright © The British Library Board
24 March to 26 June 1786
Mozart had hoped to obtain a position at the court of the Habsburg Emperor Joseph
II, which would give him the financial security of an annual income. However,
the strong Italian musical influence at court under the leading court musician
Antonio Salieri made this difficult, and no vacancies were forthcoming. One
way to gain court approval was to produce a successful opera. Mozart collaborated
with Lorenzo da Ponte, a well-known poet and librettist, to produce a comic
opera Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). First performed
on 1 May 1786 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, the opera was well received, and
nine further performances were given that year.
24 March 1786
K491. This piano concerto in C minor used the largest orchestra Mozart had yet
called for in a concert hall. It was probably premiered by Mozart on 7 April
1786. It is as passionate as his other piano concerto in a minor key, the D
minor concerto K466, but is a grander and less stormy work.
29 April 1786
K492. Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), a comic opera in
four acts, was first performed in Vienna on 1 May 1786.
3 June 1786
K493. This quartet in E flat is scored for what was at the time an unusual combination
of instruments: piano, violin, viola and cello. It was published by the leading
Viennese music publisher Artaria in 1787. The first English edition was published
only a few months later in an anthology by Stephen Storace, who together with
his sister Nancy had known Mozart well in Vienna in the mid-1780s, before they
returned to England in 1787.
10 June 1786
K494. This rondo in F for piano was eventually used in a revised version as the
finale of the piano sonata in F, K533, in January 1788.
26 June 1786
K495. This horn concerto in E flat was one of four horn concertos Mozart wrote
for Joseph Leutgeb, a magnificent horn player who had formerly played in the
court orchestra at Salzburg, and then worked in Vienna as a cheesemonger. From
the mischievous comments written in the original manuscript we know that Mozart
regarded Leutgeb as something of a buffoon, but he was also a longstanding friend.
Musical extracts recorded at the Royal College of Music, London